MiLB issues statement on contraction stories

In response to recent stories in regard to Minor League Baseball teams being contracted, MiLB issued the following statement.

St. Petersburg, FL, April 21, 2020 — Minor League Baseball™ (MiLB™) issued the following
statement regarding a pair of articles published in recent weeks regarding the state of the
Professional Baseball Agreement (PBA):

“Recent articles on the negotiations between MiLB and Major League Baseball (MLB) are largely
inaccurate. There have been no agreements on contraction or any other issues. MiLB looks forward
to continuing the good faith negotiations with MLB tomorrow as we work toward an agreement that
best ensures the future of professional baseball throughout the United States and Canada.”

PBA Statement April 21 (1)

 

Big 33 Football Classic, East West Game and other activities canceled in 2020

On Tuesday, Garry Cathell, Executive Director of the PSFCA-Big 33 issued the following statement in regard to a Pennsylvania tradition.

Dear Coaches, Participants, Sponsors and Fans,

It is with deep regret that the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association (PSFCA) must cancel all of our major events surrounding Memorial Day Weekend 2020, just weeks away. These public events include the Big 33 Football Classic, East West Game, a first-ever PSFCA High School Combine, USA Football 1st Down Clinic, Military Murph Competition, and the Big 33 Fan Experience.

Due to the uncertainty of the weeks ahead with the Coronavirus constraints placed upon each individual, our schools, families, and the organizations and businesses that help make this holiday weekend one of the best in the country, we cannot move forward in holding these events or our exciting football games. Our top priority is the health, safety and welfare of all of our participants, families, workers, sponsors, and fans.

Currently, the PSFCA is contacting all entities associated with the game and festivities. We are also exploring ways in which we can still honor all of these highly talented 2020 athletes – players, cheerleaders and buddies. We want each of them to know that they should be extremely proud to have been chosen and that they are now part of our amazing Big 33 and special East West families. In addition, our best wishes go out to all graduating student athletes across this great Commonwealth and our country, who are now unable to finish their high school careers as planned. May these families, coaches, volunteers, schools and communities remember the significant contributions made and embrace all of the memorable athletic moments that live on, as we all team up to combat this pandemic.

Again, we want to remind everyone that we are in unprecedented waters, which warrant critical measures to protect everyone’s health, safety and welfare. Please know that our thoughts and prayers remain with each of you during these challenging times. In advance, thank you for your patience and ongoing support. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to all of our healthcare professionals, EMS teams, law enforcement, military, farmers, grocery retailers, media friends, leaders, food banks, government officials, and so many other critical members of our workforce who are working and continuing to support, feed, and protect families across our great state and country!

We are looking forward to planning the 2021 games and festivities, and know that they will be better than ever! The Big 33 is such a storied tradition, and the PSFCA will uphold that for all to enjoy! Please stay healthy and safe!

Garry Cathell, Executive Director

PSFCA-Big 33

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XII

The following is the result of a more than 18-month long investigation by Fox Sports Williamsport into the Williamsport Area High School Baseball Team trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in the spring of 2018.

This story is graphic and contains details related to multiple indecent sexual assaults.

The author and editor of this story have made the editorial decision to not publish the names of the individuals under the age of 18 at the time of the incident who have been clearly identified as committing these acts in this case since they have not been formally charged with a crime.

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball

IF NOTHING HAPPENED IN MYRTLE BEACH

WHY WON’T THE WASD TELL US THE STORY?

PART XII

By Todd Bartley, Fox Sports Williamsport

Todd@Foxsportswilliamsport.com

570-327-1300

GOVERNOR WOLF CLOSES SCHOOLS FOR REMAINDER OF SCHOOL YEAR

On April 9, 2020, Governor Wolf closed all Pennsylvania schools for the remainder of the academic year. Schools had been closed indefinitely and previous to that at weeks at a time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 

PIAA CANCELS SPRING SPORTS

Later in the day on April 9, 2020, the PIAA (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association) canceled all winter sports championships as well as the spring sports seasons.

The cancellation of the spring sports season was announced the day after what would have been the Williamsport Millionaires baseball game at Altoona and the day before a home game against Danville.

However, with the cancellation of the season, no practices, team gatherings, team trips or games will happen this year.

 

WASD SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT LORI BAER TRAVELED TO MYRTLE BEACH IN MARCH

From Monday, March 9 through Friday, March 13, 2020 the Lycoming College softball team played multiple games in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and was quite successful on the trip.

WASD School Board President Lori Baer was in Myrtle Beach to support the team and shared photos on social media of her time on the trip.

Fox Sports Williamsport has confirmed with multiple Myrtle Beach law enforcement agencies that Lori Baer was not interviewed while she was in town during those dates.

Fox Sports Williamsport also confirmed Baer did not voluntarily approach Myrtle Beach law enforcement agencies to clear the air about the 2018 Williamsport Baseball team trip.

As previously reported by FSW on March 4, 2020 in Part XI; at the March 3, 2020 WASD School Board meeting, Williamsport community member Carlos Saldivia was granted five minutes to speak during the “ITEMS FROM PUBLIC” portion of the agenda.

In prepared comments to the WASD School Board Saldivia asked “the WASD Superintendent, WASD Board President (Baer), RTK Officer, WAHS Principal and WAHS Athletic Director to immediately resign” based on the Myrtle Beach incident.

To date, Baer, along with the WASD Superintendent, RTK Officer, WAHS Principal and WAHS Athletic Director have yet to resign.

If nothing happened on the 2018 Williamsport Baseball team trip to Myrtle Beach why would Baer not inquire while in Myrtle Beach in 2020?

 

IRONIC TWIST OF FATE

At the same March 3, 2020 WASD School Board meeting, Williamsport community member Carlos Saldivia asked  Baer and the WASD School Board for the WAHS Baseball program to be suspended indefinitely.

An excerpt of the Saldivia comments to the WASD School Board on March 3, 2020, “…and the H.S. baseball team program be immediately suspended indefinitely, as there are students on the team that are among the accused perpetrators of said sexual attacks and the District can’t be viewed as giving aid, comfort and cover to kids that sexually attacked, other kids.”

With the school closure order issued by Governor Wolf of March 13, and effective March 16, 2020, extended on March 23, 2020 and subsequent full academic year closure noted above; the WAHS Baseball program was indeed suspended indefinitely.

With the PIAA cancellation of the spring sports seasons; the seniors who were on the Myrtle Beach trip had their high school baseball careers ended abruptly with the stroke of a pen.

Ended, ironically enough as the innocence of a sleeping teammate who was attacked; in the process becoming the victim of an indecent sexual assault.

The incident already well documented in this series was recorded on video and shared to social media.

With the season cancelled and statewide Stay-at-Home Order in place issued by Governor Wolf on April 1, 2020 would make interviews of players and administrators so much easier.

However, the WASD School Board declined to even second a motion brought forward by Board member Adam Welteroth to open an independent third party investigation into the handling of the matter.

 

MYRTLE BEACH TRIP ANNIVERSARY HAS COME AND GONE

The coronavirus pandemic seemed to make the 2-year anniversary of the 2018 Myrtle Beach trip fly by at the end of March.

 

DOES THE SUN-GAZETTE PUBLISHER HAVE FAMILY TIES TO THIS STORY?

The local newspaper in Williamsport is the Sun-Gazette, printing “the news” since 1801.

Recently, Publisher Bob Rolley and Editor Laura Lee Janssen penned a passionate editorial plea to their audience in an attempt to stay relevant in the real-time evolving world of media in 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The editorial was titled, “Local news matters to help us all be safe”, however, fundamental questions need to be pointed out in regard to the credibility and inherent biases that may exist with both Rolley and Janssen in regard to this story.

Bob Rolley was the long time Publisher of the Lock Haven Express.

During those years, one of many controversies surrounding former Lock Haven University Athletic Director Sharon Taylor arose when she unilaterally eliminated the baseball program.

This author made several Right-to-Know Law requests of LHU and was quite successful in getting to the background facts that led to the baseball programs elimination and underlying deep financial issues and broken relationships with the alumni and the local community.

As the LHU baseball story unfolded, this author approached Bob Rolley about the RTK requests. Rolley shared at the time, they (Lock Haven Express) did not do those (RTK’s), especially since LHU is a major employer in Clinton County.

Based on the efforts of this author and many community members and alumni rallying to the aid of the LHU baseball program; it was reinstated only a few short days after being eliminated. The LHU baseball team made the PSAC playoffs that season.

The LHU baseball program being reinstated allowed Jimmy Webb III to play college baseball locally after transferring from Wake Forest University. Webb was a standout in the West End program under then head coach George Lepley.

The LHU baseball program also saw a new coach in the years that followed in Jim Chester, who subsequently continued to build a winning tradition before moving onto Barton College in Wilson, North Carolina. After success at Barton, Chester accepted the same position at Division I Gardner-Webb in North Carolina.

Back to Rolley, so reason dictates that if a major state funded with tax payer dollars entity will not face scrutiny in the face of controversy from the local newspaper; would it matter if family is involved in a story?

In the editorial Rolley and Janssen authored; they literally beg the reader to “trust” them with the news.

So, let’s go along for the sake of argument with this premise.

In order to be trusted with this story and being able to tell it, the first question to ask is, are you related to or have any potential conflict of interest with anyone involved?

Is the Publisher of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette Bob Rolley related to Brandon Pardoe or anyone else involved?

Fox Sports Williamsport has confirmed the answer is, yes.

Rolley and Pardoe are linked on the family tree.

Is it reasonable to conclude a conversation or two may have been had between those two over the past two years about the Williamsport High School baseball Myrtle Beach trip in 2018?

Brandon Pardoe is currently the head principal at Williamsport Area High School and was on the 2018 WAHS  baseball Myrtle Beach trip.

As this series has chronicled Pardoe ran the investigation in conjunction with former Lycoming County Chief Detective Willie Weber.

Laura Lee Janssen is a graduate of Williamsport Area High School.

Is it reasonable to ask, does she have reason to believe this story may cause issues for her alma mater, regardless of the facts in the case?

Is it reasonable to ask why the public comments of a community member asking for resignations never made the paper even though other topics at that particular meeting were published?

Is it reasonable to ask why coaches in other school districts get dragged through multiple articles will all of their alleged undocumented sins?

Is the mindset at the Sun-Gazette, we only print the positive press releases the WASD sends in?

Is it a systemic failure to not use the RTK law as the newspaper of record in Lycoming County?

Is the Sun-Gazette receiving advertising from any of the parents or families of WASD baseball players that have businesses?

Could that be considered quid pro quo for staying silent?

The time for Rolley and Janssen to resign has passed.

Is it time for Rolley and Janssen to be fired for failure to disclose the family ties, conflict of interest and inherent biases in this story by Ogden Newspapers and the Nutting Companies?

If the answer is yes.

Those two moves will help us all be safe and allow this area to put trust in receiving local news that matters from those outlets they can trust.

Part XIII is forthcoming in the weeks ahead.

 

LINKS TO 11-PART SERIES PUBLISHED BY FOX SPORTS WILLIAMSPORT

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART XI

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART X

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART IX

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART VIII

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART VII

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART VI

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART V

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART IV

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART III

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART II

A Baseball Story In The Birthplace Of Little League Baseball – PART I

Millionaire Baseball Mayhem in Myrtle Beach

Pirates Classic – 1991 NLCS Game 1 tonight at 8 p.m.

Tonight’s Pirates Classic takes us back to 1991 with NLCS Game 1 at 8:00 p.m. on FOX Sports 92.7 & 1050.

Happy National Student Athlete Day

Former Loyalsock Lancers quarterback Connor Watkins, now playing for the Villanova Wildcats.

EXCLUSIVE: MiLB set to announce April games will not be played

On Monday, it is expected that Minor League Baseball will make a formal announcement that all games scheduled in April will not be played.

This comes as most states have stay at home or shelter in place orders in place issued by Governors and with the federal guidance of slowing the spread of COVID-19 through April 30, 2020.

It also happens as the White House Coronavirus Task Force has spoken publicly about the peak mortality rate in the United States happening over the next few weeks.

Most if not all minor league teams fall into a non-essential business category based on federal guidelines requiring teams to temporarily close their forward facing retail and front offices.

Prior to the pandemic full season teams were set to begin play this week.

On Saturday President Trump had a conference call with most of the professional sports commissioners or representatives and discussed guidance for restarting seasons at a yet to be determined date in the future.

The major professional sports leagues remain in a holding pattern as to when they will resume their current seasons.

In the meantime, the boys of summer will have to wait until at least May to start the season.

Stay tuned to News Talk 104.1 & 1600 WEJS and Fox Sports 92.7 &1050 for further developments.

UPDATE: Crosscutters close offices based on Gov. Wolf COVID-19 order

Wildcats Weekly For March 23, 2020

Penn College softball video goes viral

The coronavirus may have taken Pennsylvania College of Technology players off the field but it hasn’t stopped them from playing and having fun as a “Virtual Catch” Facebook video posted by coach Angie Hunley is going viral.

Within three hours of its posting Saturday, the compilation (https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=541207856802460&external_log_id=53fb25430864193ff0512c888c2304c6&q=pct%20softball) had more than 6,000 views and in less than 24 hours that number had grown to over 27,000. And the numbers keep going up.

“I asked the team to send me videos to put it together,” Hunley said. “I had seen something on Twitter that a soccer player had done, they had done some juggling with a ball and then kicked it onto the next person, so I thought that is perfect, we should do that by playing catch.”

Hunley then asked her players to send her a short, creative clip of them receiving a ball and then tossing it off the screen.

“The videos slowly started coming in and by (Saturday) morning I had all 19 players and two coaches, so I put it together and posted it,” the first-year coach said.

Two clips that are her favorites show a player popping out of a trash bag, and the ending of the video where the ball plops into a cereal bowl and the player continues eating from it.

“Those two crack me up every time,” Hunley said.

“I had no idea that it was going to take off the way it did. I knew the quality of the video was going to entertain a lot of people, but I think what happened is the world of sports just needs something like that to provide entertainment and just ensure that we’re all doing OK without being out on the field right now,” Hunley said.

And the coach issued a challenge.

“We’d like to challenge any and all other teams to put together their own video. We’d love to see everyone else’s content,” she said.

2 players honored by NEAC

The season was short — just 10 games for the baseball team and nine games for the softball squad because of concerns over the coronavirus — but two Penn College athletes were awarded what may be the only weekly honors handed out by the North Eastern Athletic Conference this spring in their respective sports.

Last Monday, it was announced that senior baseball catcher Brittan Kittle, of Millville, had been named the Player of the Week and junior softball pitcher Morgan Heritage, of New Castle, Delaware, had been named the Pitcher of the Week for the period of March 8-14.

Kittle had a red-hot week at the plate, slashing a .500 batting average, .591 on-base percentage and a 1.222 slugging percentage in six games.

He totaled 12 hits, including four home runs, and drove in nine runs. Kittle picked up multiple hits in three games, including a four-hit, four-RBI, one-home run performance against Catholic University and he fielded from his catcher position with a 1.000 fielding percentage on 33 putouts.

Heritage earned four victories on the mound to go along with a 2.26 ERA and 33 strikeouts.

She hurled 31 innings and completed three games, striking out seven batters in two games, and sat down six batters in two other contests. Heritage highlighted her week with a 10-0 shutout of Cazenovia College by scattering five hits, striking out six, walking two and allowing no runs.

SCHEDULE/RECORDS/RESULTS

Baseball

Final overall: 5-5

NEAC: 0-0

Remainder of season canceled, coronavirus

Softball

Final overall: 5-4

NEAC: 0-0

Spring Break Tournament at Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Remainder of season canceled, coronavirus

Archery

Remainder of season canceled, coronavirus

Women’s Tennis

Final overall: 1-5 (1-4 fall season)

NEAC: 0-0

Remainder of season canceled, coronavirus

Men’s Tennis

Final overall: 1-5 (1-4 fall season)

NEAC: 0-0

Remainder of season canceled, coronavirus

Golf

Spring season canceled, coronavirus

For more on Penn College athletics visit: www.pctwildcats.com

For more on the North Eastern Athletic Association visit: neacsports.com

BREAKING NEWS: White House & Governor Wolf COVID-19 Briefings on live

Coming up at 5:30 p.m. Fox Sports 92.7 & 1050 will carry a simulcast of News Talk 104.1 & 1600 WEJS with the White House Coronavirus Task Force Press Conference followed at 6 p.m. by Governor Wolf who will provide an update on COVID-19 efforts in Pennsylvania.

The White House Coronavirus Task Force is available online here.

Governor Wolf press conference is available online here.

 

An Open Letter from Lycoming College Director of Athletics Mike Clark

Dear Lycoming College Community,

As the director of athletics at Lycoming College, I can not tell you how heartbroken I am about the events that have transpired over the course of the last week regarding COVID-19. Nearly all NCAA sporting events scheduled for the months of March to May have already been canceled and the ones that haven’t been will likely be in the course of the next few days.

On Saturday evening, Lycoming College announced that it would move to a distance-learning model for the rest of the academic year. On Monday, the Middle Atlantic Conference canceled the rest of its 2019-20 athletic events. With reports from the Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization urgently prompting us to practice social distancing, these are undoubtedly the right steps. These next two months will be like nothing that Lycoming College has witnessed in its 208-year history and nothing like our country has ever had to live through. We are being tasked with a great responsibility to do our best to keep each other healthy and at this time, one way to help prevent the spread of the disease is by not having gatherings of large groups. Having seen the news reports from Italy this weekend, I think we can see the importance of this task and trying not to overwhelm what could quickly become a taxed health system.

All of that is to say, I fully support the decision made by the College and the MAC. It is our intention in the coming months to work with our athletes, the College, the MAC and the NCAA to ensure that our athletes are given the best possible options moving forward with regards to their eligibility and their futures. Myself, our coaches and our administrative staff, including our compliance director, Joe Guistina, will be ready to handle any such queries as they are made.

That does not make the reality that members of our wrestling, softball, golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse and tennis teams will not be able to complete their athletic competitions this year any easier. Some of those teams were just hours away from competing in a national tournament – others were teams that had ambitions and the ability to compete for conference tournament slots and conference championships – still others were groups that had several players that were learning their games, quickly adapting to the pressures of collegiate athletics. We are proud of all of you for competing for Lycoming College.

To the seniors, I say thank you and I would like to take a moment to acknowledge all of you.

To Hadyn Swartwood, I can not imagine a more difficult end to a season than the one that you just endured. To be hours from competing in a national championship and not get that opportunity is something that left many of us in the athletic department speechless. You have handled the situation with grace, and we are so proud.

To Kayla Kline, Madison Brown and Darci Warriner – we have rarely, if ever, had many recruiting classes where all of its members were all-state selections in high school, but we found ourselves in that situation when you joined the softball team in 2017. The mark you left on the program is undeniable. I wish we had the remaining 32 games on the schedule to see how many records you could break. To see Kayla work back from a third knee injury suffered in January to be back on the field to compete in all eight games in South Carolina was an example of exactly the type of resilience that we try to instill in all of our student-athletes.

To Drew Collins, Grant Huff, Sam Pollock, Shain Quigley, Nick Russello and Max Crumlich – to not be able to see the six of you have a chance to compete for another conference tournament slot and a chance to reach the conference final, like you did last year, is painful. The amount of work that you put into the men’s lacrosse program is noticeable, both in the way you have carried yourselves in the past four years and the tremendous leaps that all six of you made as players.

To Bailey Parchesky, Hailey Kimble, Alexis Tchou, Natalie Schroeder, Kayla DiJoseph and Kaylee Long – thank you for your leadership on an incredibly young and inexperienced women’s lacrosse team. I know that it has been a long and difficult season in so many ways for you. We were so excited by the strides that the team was making under Coach Quigley’s leadership and to see the way that the team went out and competed on Wednesday at Albertus Magnus, when in many ways it seemed like chaos was closing in from all around, was exactly why all of us in the athletic department work in athletics. Your focus and resolve will be remembered.

To Hannah Summerson – we are so proud of you, the records that you have achieved, the amount of work that you have put into the sport of tennis. Your talent helped redefine a team that had struggled for several seasons and you were a true role model and a tireless worker. We are so sorry you will not get the chance to surpass 100 wins this year.

To Spencer Pedersen – thank you for your dedication to the men’s tennis team and your quiet and steadfast leadership with a young team this year. It will be remembered.

To Aaron Willsea, Joe Von Culin and Oliver Uy – thank you for joining and being a part of a developing golf team. Your ability to take with ease the challenges of one of the most frustrating games on Earth was welcomed by both your coach and our athletic department.

Thank you all again for the impact that you have made. We will see you all again. We are so proud that you are all Warriors.

In closing, I’d ask all of you to continue to support each other through this difficult time. Lycoming is a special place, but that has nothing to do with the campus.  It has to do with our people. All of you have formed strong bonds and created life-long friendships during your time here. I’m confident that these relationships will only grow stronger as we help each other move forward during this difficult time.

We hope to see you all soon!

Sincerely,

Mike Clark
Director of Athletics